Voiceless vowels in English

Dennis Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Wed Apr 9 05:03:30 UTC 2008

I blieve this pre-/l/ environment is also productive, as arnold
points out, although it will often lead to complete deletion, as the
others I listed usually do not.


>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
>Subject:      Re: Voiceless vowels in English
>On Apr 8, 2008, at 11:05 AM, Dennis Preston wrote:
>>  Not just English:
>>  1) In weak syllables (no stress, no pitch accent)
>>  2) Between two voiceless sounds or a voiceless sound and pause
>>  3) In allegro, casual speech
>>  These will do it in pert nigh any lg. It gets codified in some (e.g.,
>>  Japanese) but goes unnoticed in many (most) others.
>and in english, an unaccented neutral vowel in the environment
>    # voiceless-C ___ l accented-V
>is very short in casual and fast speech (for some speakers, more
>generally) and often devoiced, so that it's heard as deleted (and
>sometimes is).  as in "Columbus" and "police".  the shortening appears
>more generally, even when the vowel is between a voiced C and l, as in
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
Morrill Hall 15-C
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48864 USA

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list